House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came to President Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s defense on Wednesday, and called out Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for playing politics.
From Capitol Hill, McCarthy said that it is President Trump’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court Justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to approve this justice. Nancy Pelosi, however, has considered impeaching President Trump for the second time if he moves forward with the Supreme Court Justice nomination process.
In an interview with ABC News, Pelosi said that there are tactics from the lawmakers in the House that could be used to stall the nomination process. Pelosi said, “We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.”
But the leader of the minority has directly addressed Pelosi, making it clear in a press conference Wednesday that he will do everything within his own power to hold her accountable if she takes this action. McCarthy said, “I will make you this one promise, listening to the Speaker on television this weekend, if she tries to move for an impeachment based upon the president following the Constitution, I think there will be a move on the floor to no longer have the question of her being Speaker. She may think she has a quiver, we do too.”
McCarthy continued that everyone in Congress has takes an oath and has an obligation to uphold the Constitution. McCarthy said, “To think for one moment, that they would move impeachment because he is following the Constitution, we would take the movement to remove her from speakership.”
While Democrats are arguing that Trump’s nomination will break precedent, Republicans have said that while they control the Senate and the White House, it is a different circumstance than Merrick Garland in 2016. Pelosi, who is worried about her House majority, will most likely act to help her members get reelected in November.
According to The Hill, members of the House Freedom Caucus have already pressured McCarthy to proceed with a motion to vacate which would remove Pelosi from her position of power. The Freedom Caucus members want to send a clear message to voters that the Republicans are doing what they can to stop her liberal policies, but some Republicans worry that the motion will just fire up voters and help the Democrats keep their House majority.
Why this matters: Pelosi’s threat of impeachment is a big statement. Following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, both parties know that the election has changed, and therefore, so is the messaging. American voters have always understood the impact a president has to nominate and approve judges, and many conservatives voted for Trump in 2016 for this reason. With the hope of winning the White House and the Senate majority in November, the Democrats will do everything within their power to stall the nomination process. The problem, however, is that Mitch McConnell has the votes he needs to approve whomever President Trump chooses. Furthermore, a nominee could be confirmed during the lame duck period of November to January. Democrats know that stalling a vote through Republicans refusing to vote “yes” is almost impossible at this point, and President Trump seems to want to nominate a woman who is not controversial. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising for Pelosi to pull some political move if that meant the liberals could fill the coveted Supreme Court seat.